Interview on the Texas Tech University Alumni blog…
Ryder Richards (2001 BFA in Painting and Drawing; MFA from Texas Christian University in 2003) is the Richland College Gallery coordinator and his show, “Response,” at Richland College’s Brazos Gallery is open for viewing from February 3rd to March 3rd. Richards was recently featured in D Magazine for the “responsible risk taking” that led to the creation of alternative gallery space located at Richland College. Renowned for his extensive long-term collaborations, Richards is deeply invested in the interconnectivity of art to life; the following interview provides a window into Richards’ contemporary curatorial sensibilities.
ART: How are your redefining gallery spaces and their function? Why is it necessary to redefine the exhibition space?
RR: I consider GALLERY to be a word put on a space when we want a considered contemplation. The idea of gallery is often confused with the gallery structure: bricks and mortar with white walls displaying objects of significance. The necessity in exposing gallery misconceptions is that each artist, each person, becomes encouraged to utilize their ingenuity to start movements capable of achieving goals independent of the traditional program. Once that concept has been dispelled a GALLERY can be seen as a way to further ideas and engage people. As such, a GALLERY can be anything we can name: the back of a Ryder truck, a website, or a twelve year old boy’s sock drawer filled with toy cars.
For example, the RJP Nomadic Gallery, created by Piotr Chizinski, Jonathan Whitifill, and myself, originally functioned as a way to show art wherever we could due to our geographic isolation in Lubbock. We drove the truck to a new city, proclaimed it a GALLERY, handled it seriously, and it became a way for artists from Lubbock to gain exposure and empower ourselves. The nomadic gallery offers a decentralized solution; free of the cumbersome etiquette and foundation that plague large institutions.
Many thanks to Joe Arredondo, Assistant to the Director at TTU School of Art and Landmark Arts Gallery Director, for setting up this interview, and Kim Matthews, TTU Art PhD student, for the interview and editing.